Keywords: Oakeshott, political theory, normative thought, history of political thought
This essay considers the manuscript Political Philosophy in the context of Michael Oakeshott's thought and of the contemporary debate about the nature of political philosophy. In the first part, it shows that the differentiation between three different levels of political thought proposed by Oakeshott implies the incommensurability between normative conflicts and philosophy. In the second part, it analyses the consequences of this perspective on the nature of the diachronic development of political philosophy and on its relation with its context. The conclusion points out how the dialectic between contingencies of political experience and the eternity of philosophical concepts constitutes a dilemma that animates Oakeshott's position.